Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Understanding Treatment for Cirrhosis

How Do I Know If I Have Cirrhosis?

Describing your symptoms and medical history, along with the results of a physical exam, are usually enough to diagnose a case of cirrhosis.

Once the diagnosis has been made, your doctor may order one or more liver function tests, which will use blood samples to identify specific liver diseases and assess the organ's overall health.

Understanding Cirrhosis

Find out more about cirrhosis:





It may be helpful to perform a CT scan or ultrasound to further evaluate the extent of liver disease. The doctor may also require a liver biopsy, or tissue sample, and blood tests to ascertain the cause extent of the cirrhosis. In a liver biopsy, a needle is inserted into the liver to draw out a fragment of tissue, which is then sent to a lab for analysis.

What Are the Treatments for Cirrhosis?

The best way to treat cirrhosis is to correct the underlying cause. This could involve giving up alcohol, seeking treatment for viral hepatitis or an inherited disorder, or eliminating certain substances from your diet or environment. Some conditions cannot be cured, but medications can put them into remission.

Besides halting the progress of the disease, conventional treatment also aims to correct any complications, such as internal bleeding, which in themselves can be disabling or life-threatening.

If your cirrhosis is caused by alcoholism, you simply must stop drinking -- immediately and completely. If you continue to drink after you have been diagnosed with cirrhosis, you have less than a 40% chance of living more than five years. If you stop drinking, however, those chances increase to 60%-70%.

Giving up alcohol is also the best way to remedy alcoholic hepatitis and alcohol-induced fatty liver. Both of these conditions usually clear up when the patient stops drinking long enough for the liver to heal. Conventional treatment of cirrhosis caused by chronic viral hepatitis emphasizes rest, proper nutrition, and possibly the use of the drug interferon and other antiretroviral medications. Interferon is often combined with an antiviral drug called ribavirin, which can improve chances for a cure. Some types of hepatitis, however, cannot be cured.

Today on WebMD

man holding his stomach
Get the facts on common problems.
blueberries in a palm
Best and worst foods.
woman shopping
Learn what foods to avoid.
fresh and dried plums
Will it help constipation?
diverticuliltis illustration
couple eating at cafe
sick child
Woman blowing bubble gum

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Woman with crohns in pain
Woman with stomach pain
diet for diverticulitis
what causes diarrhea